October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Natalie Quiring-Oleson, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Counselor

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 women and almost 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking in their lifetime. About 16% of homicide victims are killed by their partner. In addition to the physical injuries, domestic violence can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety in victims. Many of these families also have children who are negatively affected by this violence as well.

This is always an important topic, but is especially important during the current pandemic. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the emotional and financial toll of COVID-19 has caused an increase in domestic violence. It also has made it more difficult for victims to flee the situation, and get the help they need.

Domestic abusers are typically trying to control their partner. The current restrictions on our daily lives on everything from going grocery shopping to how we do our jobs can make life feel very out of control. This is another reason experts are concerns about incidents of abuse rising.

If you or anyone you know are concerned about intimate partner violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224) or visit thehotline.org. It is available 24/7 to create safety plans, provide resources, and support. JFCS is also available to provide counseling services, case management services, as well as other services and resources if needed. Call 952-546-0616 for more information.

Local resources: